How do I come up with blog post topics?


One of the most frequent questions I get from new bloggers has to do with the concept of developing topics and stories. How do I come up with blog topics? What should I blog about? What makes a good post?

I come up with blog topics by reflecting on what I’m doing that day or thinking that week. The longer posts are the ones that have been on my mind for a few days and I just haven’t quite figured it out yet. The shorter posts are spur of the moment posts, just something that I’ve been discussing with folks that day and figured I’d offer it up.

It is not labor or intensive creative work that goes into writing articles and producing media (audio, video, documentation), it is actually more of a process of organizing thoughts, validating decisions and having some peace with what I’m doing. Truth is, if you’re an entrepreneur you already have enough pressure and your every waking moment is taken up with work and thinking of work. And if you let it bottle up and completely consume you, it will either kill you or completely exhaust you. So blogging is a great outlet as well.

Robbie Upcroft once asked me if I had an opinion on everything. Then he picked up a fork and asked “What do you think of this fork?” as I’m sure he expected me to break out into some sort of utencil analysis. I really am not that full of it! But when it rains it pours: I keep a flat text file on my desktop with blogging ideas. They are really just random thoughts that come to mind at odd moments and it’s more of a “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to mention that” kind of a thing.

Here, I’ll share with you my “Bloggable Crap” list:

How to create compelling video product walkthroughs
Got a PocketPC blog writer software to recommend?
Scott Adams Book: Stick to drawing comics, monkey brain!
Worst Book Ever Excreted: The 4 Hour Work Week
Arguments for or against web advertising schemes for content creators
 – ads, block digg/netscape, if you don’t click on my adwords you are a thief
 – but, remember if there is no commercial stuff, the projects die
Time to upgrade Web 2.0 – financing of the entire genre is dependant on infinite FAD and consumerism
How to staff a tech company in the down economy
 – Overpriced housing, no industry / unpopular
– Is Florida over?
– Where do you find the time to ___?
– How can you get a link on Vladville? – Simple domain, one dot.
– What makes those worn out silver marks on Dell Laptops?
– for entrepreneurs, Conservatism leads to failure. “contradiction, don’t decisions to pursue uncertain future nearly guarantee failure? Let me ask you this – how did you decide to become an entrepreneur, what exactly warranted that move. Do you not regret it? If not, you need to feed it, not starve it.
– Dont let emotion throw your focus on customer service.
– Why do techies collect computer trash? 4eee PC
– Why Vista is failing? Because it’s change, and people hate change… to web site layouts, to web browsers, to… well, anything. It should always come in just as the current one is, with the ability to turn on the insanity on demand. People consider things to suck when they cannot cope with the change – what sucks about Outlook? The fact that it doesn’t do what I expect it to do. When I find out the right way, if it ain’t my way, I get angry.
– Affordable SMS/Paging Solutions In The 21st Century

Notice that not everything is a headline, it’s not like I sit there and brainstorm blog posts. I just jot down ideas as I come up with them and I eventually put them together to answer a question that someone asked (or at someone ought to be asking).

This works for me because I don’t care about your critical literary taste – I don’t even bother spell checking the post. I just type as I go along and wish you the best of luck with understanding where I am heading. Truth is, it takes longer to proof and organize a body of text than to create a rough draft / stream of consciousness or lack thereof (the porn posts). Sometimes this is brilliant, sometimes it backfires terribly and leads to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

The idea behind blogging is that you offer your view as you would face to face with someone you knew. This isn’t the state of the union or a testimony to the grand jury, it’s just me reacting to something. It will never end up in the newspaper, it will not become a fatwa or a book but it helps stay in touch with people and it starts conversations.

At the end of the day, thats what this stuff is all about – continuing the relationships you established or meeting new friends and coleagues online. Kind of how you know me.

(Pardon the post quality, typed in the back of a rental car as I tried to get an extra hour of sleep due to my phone being stuck in the wrong time zone.. when that failed to materialize, I typed this up)

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